GimpGirl Community Moves to New Second Life Home, in Collaboration with the Experiential Design and Gaming Environment Lab at Ryerson University
September 15, 2010 – The GimpGirl Community, an international online support network for women with disabilities, is launching its new home within the virtual world of Second Life, in collaboration with the Experiential Design and Gaming Environment (EDGE) Lab at Ryerson University, based in Toronto, Canada.
GimpGirl Community was established in 1998 as a support network and resource center for women with disabilities. One of the first of its kind, it has brought together women with disabilities, allies, and supporters from around the world, using various Internet-based platforms. GimpGirl Community is active on several sites, including Flickr, LiveJournal, the social networking platforms of Facebook and Twitter, and its own website forums, among others.
Since February 2008, GimpGirl has maintained land within the virtual world of Second Life, previously sponsored by 3D Embodiment. This in-world environment includes space for weekly support group meetings, events and presentations, and areas to showcase art and items for sale created by community members, along with residential areas.
The EDGE lab is a transdisciplinary research lab exploring virtual and mixed-reality applications at the intersection of developing technologically embedded social and cultural practices, and shifting economic landscapes. The lab is supported with funding from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation and the Ministry for Research and Innovation of the Province of Ontario.
This new partnership will allow us to expand and more fully utilize our presence on Second Life and beyond,” said Jennifer Cole, program director of the GimpGirl Community. “Our goal is to create and maintain spaces online where women with disabilities can express themselves, support each other, and and engage their creativity.”
The new partnership with the EDGE Lab will allow GimpGirl Community access to the lab’s research and development infrastructure for the exploration of virtual and mixed-reality projects. The partnership will also increase traffic to the GimpGirl Community presence in Second Life, and ultimately support all of the community platforms used by the GimpGirl Community. This will allow for continued and exciting improvements in how the GimpGirl Community can reach out and support the lives of women with disabilities it connects with every day.
A “moving party” will take place within Second Life on September 19th, 2010 from 12 PM to 3 PM (PDT), which will include live music, as well as a DJ and dance party, a tour, and a guided storytelling hour. The event will also be accessible outside of Second Life via the GimpGirl Community website chat room and audio stream, and related projects and discussions will take place across the various GimpGirl Community outposts on the web.
For more information, visit http://www.gimpgirl.com.